The City's authority for telecommunication antenna structures (including cell towers)
The City of Calgary is not the approving authority for telecommunication antenna structures.
The federal Minister of Industry is the approving authority for the development and operation of radiocommunication in Canada, including telecommunication antenna structures, pursuant to the Radiocommunication Act. Industry Canada* is tasked with, among other things, administering the orderly development and operation of telecommunication antenna structures.
In this regard, Industry Canada requires that, in certain cases, the local land use authority and the public must be consulted for input regarding the proposed placement of a telecommunication antenna structure. The City of Calgary’s Development & Building
Approvals business unit is responsible for reviewing these submissions on The City’s behalf and, depending on the nature of the proposal, a letter of support (concurrence) or non-support (non-concurrence) is sent to the wireless service provider upon completion of its review of the proposal.
In cases where The City does not support a proposal, it cannot prevent a proponent from ultimately gaining permission from Industry Canada to install a telecommunication antenna structure even if it contravenes The City’s telecommunication Protocols.
*For additional information regarding Industry Canada's mandate and the application of its authority in the wireless telecommunications process, please consult Industry Canada's Client Procedures Circular CPC-2-0-03. This publication and others pertinent to telecommunications are available at http://strategis.gc.ca/spectrum.
The City's role at a public consultation meeting
The City of Calgary performs three main functions at a public consultation meeting. These are:
- to scrutinize the consultation process
- to clarify the provisions of The City's Telecommunication Antenna Structures Siting Protocols, as required
- to explain The City's role in the deployment of telecommunication antenna structures
The City's role in reviewing a telecommunication submission
The City of Calgary reviews and evaluates each submission for a telecommunication antenna structure based on land use planning criteria*. The specific elements and issues observed, reviewed, analyzed, evaluated and decided upon in reaching a decision to either support or not support a submission are predominantly, but not limited to, the following:
- proposed location in a community or area;
- existing and proposed on-site uses and structures;
- adjacent sites and their existing and proposed uses and structures;
- how close a cell tower is proposed to residential development;
- co-location potentials on the site and on nearby sites with other antenna structures;
- compliance with The City's telecommunication antenna structures policy;
- conformity with The City's MDP policies regarding historic sites and environmentally sensitive areas; and
- design aspects of the proposal
*Note: The City of Calgary does not assess any submission for a telecommunication antenna structure with respect to health and radiofrequency exposure issues or any other non-placement or non-design related issues. Any questions or comments the public may wish to make regarding health issues related to cell phones, cell towers and radiofrequency exposure guidelines (Safety Code 6) should be directed to Health Canada on-line at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca and to the proponent's representative. Industry Canada, Spectrum Management Operations Branch may also be contacted for information by phone at 403-292-4575 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.